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Tribute to television as servant of the public in the Cold War era.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Sponsor: National Association of Broadcasters
Audio/Visual: Sd, B&W
Keywords: Media: Television; Cold War; Journalism
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: How Ironic...
...that 55 years later I prefer to watch this film (and others of its genre and era) over watching what television offers in the current day. 70 channels, nothing for intelligent life on any of em. Lets call it reverse evolution.
At least in those days with a fraction of the channels one could watch Concentration with Hugh Downs The Mickey Mouse Club and The Danny Thomas show with no sociopolitical schpiel injected into all aspects of every program. PBS stations had truly educational programming during almost its entire day - you could learn a foreign language or how to paint in watercolors.
Judging from the aerials I'm guessing this kid must live in Connecticut or maybe up the Hudson river...those are fringe area contraptions on those roofs; I assume aimed at NYC and rotoized for another city (Hartford?).
Nice footage of the Dallas Texas tornado that tore up the west side of that city in April 1957 - very significant because of the relatively extensive footage which was later studied to ascertain the phyisical features of tornado funnels.
Seems the FCC especially of late has acquired all the tasks that the NAB had set out to tackle on its member stations. Only "Big Brother" FCC has taken a much more....shall we say...totalitarian approach; nothing is optional.
Subject: This is not a review, But...
I'm sure you people would be interested in the following. Back in the 50's NBC, CBS and DuMont all broadcasted adaptations of famous books; NBC & DuMont both aired classical music; NBC, CBS, ABC & DuMont all broadcasted broadway/Musical music (Even the ultra-crass "Cavalcade of Stars" featured performances by Broadway actresses); DuMont aired the McCathy hearings; DuMont & ABC both aired many political discussion programs; NBC & DuMont aired some science programs (I've actually seen a DuMont broadcast with Werner Von Braun); and there were less minutes of commercials in most programs (Don't Believe Me? Just watch the the episodes I've uploaded of "The Dinah Shore Show" and "Coke Time").
Of course, minorities were hardly seen (With the exception of Ricky Ricardo plus Beulah); Non-Documenties avoided serious issues, there were to many westerns, and the airwaves were overloaded with Tobacco commercials. The news was biased, and the laugh-tracks annoying.
Whether the 50's was the "Golden Age of TV" is subjective (I personally consider the 90's to be the peak of TV), but there is much more to 50's TV than "My Little Margie".
And yes, This "Review" doesn't tell you anything about the film, But neither do 80% of the other reviews people write of these films. People use the Prelinger archive section on the Internet Archive to spread their "Ideas" on other people, And while my review my be propaganda, So are most other of the reviews at this section. At least my "review" prevides context, Most are just some grumpy revisionist trying to convince everybody that "Three's Company" ran in the 50's. Sorry, But I'm losing confidence in the human race, Since everybody these days seem so negative.
EDIT: To jazzfan, In reality the "Johnny Can't Read" problem was due to the low quality of 50'
s children's books, Not because of TV. Too many 50's books were bland that children got bored with them quickly. I learned this from a HISTORY CHANNEL documentry.
Subject: Thank you, TV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is such a great film! When the announcer says, "Just 12 years old and this young man is learning to understand about communism." Don't you want to add, "And in just 10 short years he and a few of his closest friends will take over the dean's office at the university they are attending and threaten to blow everyone up and burn their draft cards!"
And, then we could all laugh and open a bottle of coke and sing Kum-By-Yah"!!!!!!
Subject: I Live For This Stuff!
It's fun to watch this fluff. It's no wonder why Johnny Can't Read! God bless the Corporate Media!
Subject: Dull propaganda
This 1957 film tries to tell us how important the National Association of Broadcasters is in getting American youngsters to properly see the world about them via television. The dull film has a lot of propaganda that is made to seem legitimate by using the sincere off screen voice of actor Don Amache.
Subject: There's irony in this of course..
Wickedly ironic piece (but totally straight) about how wonderful Television is to entertain our children about Communism, the Hungarian revolution, prison riots and other heartwarming stories! Let's plop him down in front of the TV rather then him doing creative stuff outside! Honestly, I thought this whole film was pulling my leg, when in fact the sponsors of this film (which look like they meet in someone's living room) is being damn serious about this. So parents, call jimmy in from his playtime (wherever you are, since there's no hint of parental supervision at all in this one) and plop him down to watch tornado coveraage!!
One of the more bizarre shorts I've seen here. Plenty of cool early tv bits though.
Subject: TV is your friend
I know it says circa 1957 above, but I'm guessing this is from '58 or '59, when broadcasters were under fire during the quiz show scandals, and the feds started interfering. This sure seems like an attempt to spin public opinion back in the broadcasters' favor.
In any event, the film is pretty laughable, especially when it claims that TV is a tool that can warn young people against propaganda...
Steve Nordby -
Subject: "12 years old with a 20 inch screen"
Once upon a time the FCC required TV stations to air news, public service, and public affairs programming, and limited advertising. This 1950's film from the National Association of Broadcasters tries to explain why by way of the education of a boy. Because of these requirements and the marginally stricter code of the NAB, TV "will always be a welcome guest in the house." We are told that TV is a free system, based on the free flow of goods and ideas, based on quality and taste. NAB self regulation ensures you this will ALWAYS be so. Comedy, drama, and all other entertainment programming, save sports, is ignored.
So decades later, what has entered the culture from 1950's TV? News? Perhaps some Cold War highlights. Public affairs? Huh? No, it is "I Love Lucy" and "The Honeymooners". Is TV still a welcome guest? Is "quality and taste" still the ultimate basis of TV?